Ian Northcott is 64, and a qualified Nordic Walking Instructor who leads a group of walkers (young and old) across the wonderful Worcestershire countryside including my fellow Redditch, Droitwich, Ombersley and Worcester.
Nordic Walking is quite traditional. It originates from Finland. Most Finnish people will ski to work. However, in the warmer months when the snow has melted, they need something to keep them active and so Nordic Walking was born!
Using ski poles - which should be held at a 45 degree angle - you push into the ground with the bottom of the poles (the paws, which are sloped) and this helps propel you forward, working the top half of your body. It is said that you exercise 90% more of your body walking this way compared to walking without sticks.
Ian said: "I was like so many people of my age – looking for something new and interesting to try that wasn't too taxing on my poor knees!
There isn't really an average age for the people who join in with the walks. One thing that we do have in common is that we all enjoy a good laugh!"
The social benefits of Nordic Walking are just as important as the positive impact on health. We laugh and talk as we go along and we always end up at a café or a pub at the end. It's great if you want to find friends or just as beneficial if you are living on your own and want to be part of a group of friendly people.
"If you are interested in joining us then visit our website to find a walking route nearest you. There are four lots of one hour training sessions that new walkers have to undertake but this isn't as scary as it sounds! It's simply to ensure that walkers use the poles correctly, get an understanding of how we work and to get a general feel of what Nordic Walking is all about." Ian said.